The backlog of customers’ Jaguars and Land Rovers still awaiting parts to get them back on the road is now down to below 2,000 and the bottleneck is “mostly through”, according to JLR’s chief executive.
Adrian Mardell said the challenge has now moved to be the JLR dealer network’s capacity to fix vehicles.
JLR downsized its UK parts supply network from 18 warehouses to one ‘super-centre’, the Mercia Park complex in Leicestershire, operated by its logistics partner Unipart Logistics, but since the transition started at the beginning of Q4 2023 there has been a crisis in supplies of parts for Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships and authorised repairers, leading to cars being parked up awaiting parts and the JLR network ran out of loan cars for affected customers.
It has been a painful period for JLR at a time when the carmaker is also focused on positioning its Jaguar and Range Rover brands as ultra-luxury, but some of its customers have gone into other premium brands to keep mobile while their JLR car awaited repair.
Mardell said “too many of our customers have had to go into non-brand vehicles” at the height of the delays but now JLR has put 1,000 more own-brand courtesy cars on the road “so if you don’t get your fix as quick as you want, at least you will have the option of going into a JLR product”.
Last November Mardell said he hoped the situation would be over early in 2024, but in the latest quarterly earnings call it seemed JLR expects it to be continuing through Q2 2024.
He added: “We’ve made good progress over the last three months, but this isn’t done. We will stay with this until we’re back and better than we originally were. Frankly, we’re doing this to improve things, not to make things worse. So we will stay with it until things are better.”
JLR is expected to switch to a direct-sales model for new cars by the end of 2024, putting its franchised dealers onto agency-style contracts.
Work is already under way to change the showroom look and feel. Some dealerships have already removed Jaguar branding as the number of Jaguar sales points is reducing, and inside some are developing individual spaces for the full line-up of Range Rovers, Discoverys and Defenders.